I had an epic column planned for this week. Honestly I did. Last week an email hit my inbox with the subject line "BOK Center Announces another Sporting Event". Promising indeed.
You can imagine the anticipation. Unable to attend the gala in person, I idly awaited Wednesday for the news to break.
Could a professional hockey team relocate to Tulsa? Are the Talons joining the ranks of the AFL? Maybe the world's largest baseball card collector's convention will call the BOK Center home next year.
Well, as you're heard by now, we're getting a PBR event. The BOK Center is now one of 33 stops on the Professional Bull Riders Tour (shaking head).
This is probably fantastic news in the grand scheme of things. Another world class type of event heading to Tulsa. The BOK Center will be the focus of cowboy enthusiast across the land. It will hit the ceilings.
There's really not much else to add. The PBR's Express Classic rides into Tulsa July 18-20 at the Tulsa Convention Center. Next year, BOK Center.
Because the big announcement was a bull riding event, I'll move along quickly to something else. I am not what you would call a giddy-up type of guy. I can't fathom many readers of this column are wearing chaps and ten gallon hats. I could be wrong. It wouldn't be the first time.
Now onto a more familiar topic.
A good old standby in case breaking news breaks down.
Through the clown mouth, around the windmill and under the low flying airplane -- nothing but the bottom of the cup. Sounds like a magnificent putt-putt course doesn't it? Go ahead and remove the clown mouth and the windmill.
We're left with a fantastic, fun-filled golf course in south Tulsa. South Lakes Golf Course, 9253 S. Elwood, is unique in many ways.
Chances are I lost a few readers just now. The elitist thinks he is above a course on South Lakes' level. Golf snobbery is on par with beer snobbery. Neither should be tolerated in Oklahoma.
Back on course. SLGC exemplifies the fun attributes a round of golf should have. Do you know anyone who started his or her golfing life wishing for tumultuous days full of frustration and anguish on the course? Sure it turns out that way but that wasn't the initial draw.
South Lakes opened in 1989. "We're in our 20th year of operation. Before that I worked at Lafortune for 14 years," said PGA Head Golf Professional Paul Ridings.
Before you send an angry arithmetic filled email, I know the numbers do not quite add up. If it opened in 1989 and has operating for 20 years, what gives?
Someone had to oversea the course construction. Ridings was onsite well before the first duffer made initial contact on the first tee.
South Lakes is synonymous with golfers for a wide range of reasons. Here is the main one. I don't even have to set it up. You know what's coming.
"If you've got rabbit ears, noises bother you, then you're going to be bothered by airplanes here. This is the busiest airport in Oklahoma in the number of takeoffs and landings.
"There are constantly planes going overhead. If the wind is out of the north, they're going to be landing, coming in pretty low. You could be standing on the 10th green or 11th tee and see the whites of their eyes. We get some pretty good air shows out here," said Ridings.
I've always found the biplanes charming in a Red Baron versus Snoopy sorta way.
So, who plays South Lakes? Me, that's who. But who else? "Somebody that's looking to have some fun. That's kinda been our motto out here; it's a fun place to play. It's not a golf course that's going to give you a headache because it's intensely difficult," said Ridings.
It's true. You can have a senior golfer shoot his or her age for the first time. Trouble is geared toward the left side of the fairways. Right-handed slicers are given a buffer zone.
Golfers of varying levels attack South Lakes. But it's especially nice for relatively newer golfers. Years ago, before I was capable of decent play, a friend took me out to Forrest Ridge. He's no longer my friend and I almost quit after the round.
Today, I could probably hack my way around Forrest Ridge but there's no way I'd enjoy it as much as a leisurely round at SLGC.
South Lakes doesn't penalize short knockers. Its championship tee's are on par with the middle tees at Lafortune or Stone Creek.
Number 8 is the hardest hole on the course. I would love to tell you about the layout but I played several weeks ago and my ability to recall every shot on every course pails in comparison to PGA'ers. So does every other aspect of my game, but I digress.
Visit southlakesgolf.com for prices, leagues and perhaps a description of the 8th hole.
For the record, no more golf course break downs this year. Promise.
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